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Poster: stbalbach Date: Nov 29, 2008 9:07pm
Forum: texts Subject: Great advanced searching feature

IA has a great searching feature I just "discovered". Here is a sample output for author Emile Zola:

The great thing with this method, one can click on the header of each column and sort that way, so it makes it much quicker to find works rather than clicking through pages of search results. You can see right away how many copies of each book Zola wrote are available without having to re-run new searches for each book.

To make a search like this, go the Advanced Search page, scroll down to Advanced XML Search, enter the search query in the query line (in this case "creator:zola"), click on the "HTML table", and highlight the fields one wants to be included (this example include all fields, hold down the right mouse button when selecting). It's also possible to save searches as CSV (spreadsheet) or XML for local processing. I suppose theoretically one could download the entire IA database this way.

Over at the Open Library Blog (see post below), Raj has posted how to use this method in combination with a script he wrote to download books in batches (in a way that is friendly to the servers and won't overload them). So theoretically one could readily download the entire IA database, or selections of it, including all the metadata. It's about 500 terabytes :) But restricted to English language PDF only excluding Gutenberg and Google scans, probably much less.

This post was modified by stbalbach on 2008-11-27 17:11:03

This post was modified by stbalbach on 2008-11-30 05:07:11